pitch for an RFP

step by step
October 13, 2021


As Investopidia well put together “a request for proposal (RFP) is a business document that announces a project, describes it, and solicits bids from qualified contractors to complete it. Most organizations prefer to launch their projects using RFPs, and many governments always use them.”

There are a number of ways to convey an idea to a client, one of them is by laying it out in a clear presentation deck. A document that describes your intentions, your idea and sets the tone for what’s to come. While the slides should be particular to your situation, here are some useful thoughts and advice to develop a presentation that flows. Before you start preparing the presentation, answer the question below:

  • What is your task — what exactly will you be doing here.
  • Who is your client — understand the needs, wants, and values and why they should be interested in what you’re offering.
  • What is your idea — what is it that you are selling, what is your point of view.
  • Who is your audience — will you be sending or showing this deck too, what is their role, what is their background, how in-depth is their knowledge on the topic at hand.
  • What is your expected outcome — what are you trying to achieve with this presentation and what will be the next foreseeable steps depending on the outcome of the presentation.

Now that you’ve done your due diligence, determine your strategy:

  • Recap the brief or restate the ask. Show your understanding of your client’s needs and values.
  • Identify the demographic you are targeting with your idea/concept and specify relevant insights about them. Show your insight into this demographics’ behavior and rationalize why your idea/campaign would be relevant to them.
  • Summarize your insight on the problem, the target market, and the goal you will achieve with your idea/concept. Your word choice here is very important, you need to be clear and concise but relay the complexity of the case at hand. This is a leeway into your “WHY?” — Why will your idea work.
  • Present your Idea/concept, creative proposition. Again be clear and concise. No more than 1-2 sentences. This is the core substance of your pitch. Make sure it’s memorable and easy to understand. Here you’re answering the ques “WHAT?” — What is your Grand Idea.
  • To support your idea you need to help the client visualize how it will come to life. Do the work for them. Show visuals of what the execution of this idea would look like.
  • Recap the idea and how it related to the problem at hand and the target market. What would be the tangible benefit of this idea and the goal it will achieve. With this information you will answer the “HOW?” — How does this idea work. You also come back to WHY it will work.
  • Leave a blank or thank you slide at the end for Q&A.

Other notes

  • Keep your deck as short as possible.
  • Anticipate possible questions and have your answer ready.
  • Make sure your font size and color palette make the copy readable.
  • Less copy. Concise copy.
  • Educate your client don’t just sell an idea to them. Provide such a good rationale that they can clearly understand why your idea/campaign works best for their challenge. Give them enough to not do the math but simply move to the next steps.
  • Hire someone who works in this field

SEE EXAMPLE BELOW: Gouvernment of Canada RFP

Written By Isabelle Ofume